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International Girl Child Day: Empowering Girls through Education and Gender Equality

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International Girl Child Day: Empowering Girls Through Education And Gender Equality

International Girl Child Day is observed annually on October 11, with a focus on the importance of girls’ education, their rights, and promoting gender equality. This day serves as a call to action for the global community to go beyond mere commitments and invest boldly in empowering girls.

The International Day of the Girl Child, first celebrated in 2012, aims to raise awareness about the challenges girls face and advocate for their rights. This year, the day falls on Wednesday, October 11, and carries the theme “Invest in Girls' Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.”

The journey towards recognizing and safeguarding the rights of the girl child began in 1995 when countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This landmark policy document was created at the World Conference on Women in Beijing and became the first to specifically address the rights of girls. Building upon this progress, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 the International Day of the Girl Child through Resolution 66/170 on December 19, 2011.

Adolescent girls are entitled to a safe, educated, and healthy life during their critical years of development, as they grow into women. By offering support during this period, we enable them to realize their potential as empowered individuals who can contribute to society in various capacities – as workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the importance of providing equal opportunities for girls and amplifying their voices, stating, “Women and girls can lead us to a fairer future…let us amplify girls’ voices, and recommit to working together to build a world where every girl can lead and thrive.”

Furthermore, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), serves as a roadmap for global sustainable growth. Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to these goals. The International Day of the Girl Child reminds us to work towards fulfilling these targets and ensuring that girls have equal rights, opportunities, and a platform to thrive in all aspects of life.

Rachel Adams

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